Unless you’ve been living entirely off the grid, you know that humans are consuming and generating more data than ever before. IDC predicts that by 2025, the global datasphere will grow to 163 zettabytes, which translates to 163 trillion gigabytes. While these massive numbers are hard to comprehend, the drivers behind the data deluge are less so. IDC concludes our data explosion hinges on three primary factors: the core, including traditional and cloud data centers, the edge, including server rooms and servers in the field, and the endpoints, comprised of mobile phones, laptops, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and more. (Source: IDC). With this growth and the role of endpoints and the edge growing at a rapid rate, businesses face a unique problem: how do we manage our massive appetite for data?
Today, copper telephone lines that support POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) are an aging infrastructure that’s getting more and more expensive to maintain. Major telephone providers like AT&T have already started phasing out their support of analog POTS lines – promising for a full phase-out by 2020. These adjustments are pushing customers to look at other options to replace copper telephone connections. (Source: High-Speed Experts). Many big broadband providers are driving customers to wireless and fiber lines, so what’s the problem? In short, many ‘analog era’ office applications – security alarms, gate systems, FAX lines – weren’t built for digital connections and they run inherently better on analog lines! Not only that, fiber connections are expensive!
‘Analog era’ is coming to an end
While it’s clear the ‘analog era’ of communications is ending, there’s still a big gap that exists between analog POTS lines and the full-scale adoption of SIP trunking, Unified Communications (UC), fiber, and wireless connections. So is it all or nothing? Do customers have to pay more for fiber lines to replace POTS? What can companies do to keep their ‘analog era’ devices running smoothly?
4G LTE for POTS Replacement
The answer to a smarter transition to digital communications is converting POTS lines to a 4G LTE-enabled solution. Why? Let’s dig deeper.
- Fire alarms, gates, elevators, and emergency systems – As we mentioned earlier, functions like fire alarms, security systems, and elevators require POTS-like reliability, meaning they need to work no matter what. These must-have requirements are exactly in harmony with today’s digital solutions. Because VoIP lines are dependent on running power and the internet, they’re not 100% dependable. What happens if a VoIP line has distortions or ‘echoes’ during an emergency phone call? Or what about if the power goes out or there’s a natural disaster, how can you sound alarms? 4G LTE connectivity is more suited for always-on business applications like gates, alarms, elevators, etc.because it delivers stability and reliability at a reasonable price.
- Faxing – Many companies still depend heavily on faxing to send and receive orders with customers, vendors, and partners. In particular, those companies in verticals like healthcare, financial, and the legal industry also rely on faxing to comply with industry and government regulations. Making the switch to running fax lines over 4G LTE provides a reliable replacement solution that costs much less than other internet-based solutions that are, in many cases, overkill for these functions.
- Point of Sale – A company’s Point of Sale system is the lifeline of the business. If it goes down, companies can lose thousands of dollars in sales in a matter of minutes, or worse, they can hurt their reputation with customers. Companies need a high-performance and cost-effective alternative to traditional telephone lines that include built-in redundancy and doesn’t require power or the internet. Making a move away from POTS and fiber for running Point of Sale applications means businesses can have greater peace of mind knowing they can serve customers.
- Business resiliency – As we’ve highlighted, power and internet outages can happen at any time. If your company relies 100% on digital communication, what’s your backup plan? A 4G LTE POTS replacement solution provides business resiliency and is self-contained, preparing you for anything.
Make a plan and act on it
Regardless of the timeline for phase-out of POTS lines, it’s safe to say that over the next few years, conventional analog telephone services will only get more expensive and offer fewer options. As telcos begin retiring all copper-based communication, you need to help customers come up with a game plan for replacement. At Broad Sky Networks, we can convert all of your customers’ legacy landlines to a next-gen 4G LTE POTS-replacement solution. They’ll thank you, and you’ll have recurring revenue for keeping must-have business applications running smoothly. Email us to learn more!
The answer is complicated, but a big piece of the equation centers on having fast and reliable wireless networks. Only faster business wireless can support this massive influx of data and help companies efficiently share information across an entire IT ecosystem in near real-time. How else is faster wireless internet tied to digital transformation? Let’s explore.
- It’s all about the cloud – By 2025, IDC predicts that 49% of the world’s stored data will reside in public cloud environments. (Source: IDC). Companies need the ability to access business-critical cloud-based applications like Office 365 and Infrastructure-as-a-Service platforms like Azure, whether users are in the corporate office, working remote or mobile, or in branch locations. Only fast and highly reliable wireless internet can meet these needs and deliver an efficient and effective network that can also adapt, scale, and evolve with the changing needs of the digital business.
- Edge computing is here – Today, more and more data processing and analytics are happening at the edge of corporate networks. The edge promises better performance, faster transaction times, and the delivery of new digital services to customers. Given the expected growth of IoT – 21 billion connected things by 2020 – companies are turning to the edge to enable efficient cloud computing and to support IoT. (Source: Gartner). IoT involves the connection of countless numbers of devices, assets, sensors – all sharing and collecting real-time data. The underpinnings of a successful edge computing strategy are clear – fast, reliable, and secure wireless networks and internet connections.
- High speeds are a must for latency-sensitive apps and actions – In addition to running business-critical cloud applications, companies need faster wireless internet to support the next generation of latency-sensitive applications, such as bandwidth-intensive apps like HD video, virtual reality, and specialized applications within IoT. As more data is created and shared between the core, the edge, and endpoints, faster wireless internet speeds are also needed to make new advancements possible, including enabling advanced machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Want better performance?
Broad Sky Networks is helping customers build out their edge computing strategies and become more competitive with faster wireless speeds and advanced wireless solutions. What else sets our wireless services apart? Read on.
- Unmatched wireless speeds – Our wireless solutions are built on CAT 6/11/18 performance and use carrier aggregation to reach 100 Mbps download speeds in the field.
- Superior carrier aggregation technologies – Carrier aggregation is the process of combining multiple carrier signals to enhance network performance. By leveraging carrier aggregation and combining multiple lines, Broad Sky customers can move more data at a faster rate, experiencing accelerated download and upload speeds.
- Making a real business impact – Increased wireless speeds and reliable connections are essential in supporting the cloud and edge computing, giving business users real-time access to data, improving the user experience, enhancing productivity, and better-supporting customers.
Let Broad Sky help
If you want help talking to your customers about what’s possible with faster and more reliable wireless internet, talk to Broad Sky Networks! We can play a role in guiding conversations with customers and mapping out a plan for meeting and exceeding business goals for 2020 and beyond. With faster wireless internet, your customers’ possibilities and your’s are limitless. Let’s do this!
While sunset dates vary, it’s clear the end is upon us. Verizon’s anticipated sunset date is December 31, 2019, meaning by that time, all devices connected to a Verizon mobile network must be capable of running on 4G LTE. AT&T, on the other hand, hasn’t released concrete plans, but most insiders anticipate the sunset of its 2G and 3G LTE services and network by 2022 in the US. (Source: Techblog). Here’s information about shutdown schedules for Sprint and T-Mobile.
So why are operators pushing out 3G networks? In a word: necessity. Users are demanding more and more bandwidth and faster speeds to stream video and other high-bandwidth applications on mobile devices and in branch offices, or temporary locations. Increasing demands are pushing wireless infrastructure and these networks past their limits. By mandating customers exit 3G networks, carriers can free up wireless frequencies, giving them the ability to add more capacity on LTE networks. Carriers can repurpose the 3G spectrum for alternatives – including faster and more efficient 4G LTE, and eventually 5G services.
It is also more cost-effective to operate LTE networks, compared to 2G or 3G networks, because more devices can share the available spectrum. It’s important to point out that even before officially shutting down 3G services, network operators may also regionally tune their networks. Making these tweaks means that some connected devices may lose connectivity even ahead of ‘official’ 3G sunset dates.
What should you do?
As 3G services start fading out the way of cable TV services, what should you do? How can you help customers figure out their best upgrade path to newer solutions? As a technology partner, you should start by focusing on customers’ long-term transition plans, and by offering migration strategies to eliminate possible gaps in wireless services. Finally, making moves today you can get users on a viable path to 5G adoption. Let’s explore best practices and migration options for staying well ahead of 3G sunsetting.
- Consider replacing devices and routers with upgraded technology – Partners should ask the right questions and look at connectivity requirements and locations before selecting 4G LTE-enabled routers, modems, and support for IoT. Also, do customers need mobile connectivity primarily? Or do they need reliable wireless for temporary locations or branch offices? These are all considerations you can walk through with customers.
- Evaluate bonded 4G LTE options – In many cases, 4G LTE and bonded 4G LTE services are ideal replacements for 3G. Bonding 4G LTE links from several mobile providers can provide maximum reliability and sufficient bandwidth, even for today’s bandwidth-hungry apps. With download speeds of 100 Mbps and 50 Mbps upstream speeds, 4G LTE can support web and video conferencing solutions, Unified Communication (UC), and VoIP applications.
- Don’t wait for 5G before making a move – While 5G services promise connection speeds that are 20 X faster than 4G, it’s going to take years before 5G is fully operational. The good news, however, is that 4G LTE technology will serve as the backbone for 5G services, while carriers continue developing these next-gen mobile solutions. So making a move today and implementing 4G LTE equipment isn’t a wasted investment. Instead, it’s a stepping stone that can help companies meet business-critical needs while also laying down the foundation for the digital enterprise and 5G down the road.
Your future looks bright!
With 3G sunsetting on the horizon, it’s time to get serious about the next chapter. You have a tremendous opportunity to help customers avoid gaps in service by acting now and upgrading outdated 3G equipment to LTE-capable phone and IoT devices, routers, and modems. If you want help talking with customers about transition plans, migration strategies, and the impending shutdown of 3G network services, talk to Broad Sky Networks! We offer complete bonded 4G LTE services and other custom wireless solutions your customers will love. Act now!